This go-round, I used Scrivener writing software (free trial from Literature and Latte) to lay out the book before I wrote. Wow! It was a world of difference to have an outline and a plan before I wrote.
I wrote about half the speed I did in November. It could take me hours and four cups of tea to get to 1,000 words. It might be the difference between free writing (November-style) vs. writing something another person can make sense of (April-style) but I’m happy with what I have from both times.
I’ll take my draft from November and fill in pieces of April’s draft and see what I end up with. For example, I really liked what I wrote about my childhood newt in November. (You had a childhood newt, too, right? Doesn’t everyone?)
Thank you, everyone, for the encouragement. Your belief in me and my story means more to me than you know.
I’ll keep writing and editing the memoir. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Next week we’ll return to regular blog posts!
As we were wiping up at the end of our shift, Mike asked, “You need a ride, hon?”
I said that I did. We made plans and punched out with our time cards on the top of the time clock.
Out in the night air, we walked together to Mike’s red sedan. He opened the passenger door for me.
He drove me up to the 24-hour truck stop just on the edge of town.
We slid into one of the booths. We looked over the stained paper menu
“What looks good?” he said.
“It is after midnight, so I guess technically it’s morning. Maybe I’ll get some breakfast,” I said.
“Breakfast does sound good,” he agreed.
We ordered full breakfast platters and we weren’t disappointed. Our gum-chewing waitress served us long ovals plates of fried eggs, shredded hash browns, hardened bacon strips, shiny sausage links and toast cut into six triangles with a scoop of light margarine on top. Drops of grease dotted the plate edges.
At the counter, a truck driver leaned over his food while his cigarette sat in the ashtray. Outside his truck lights glowed in the mist coming off the St. Croix River next to the diner. He made small talk with the waitress and the cook behind the metal counters.
Mike and I ate our food and laughed. We pretended to fence with our bacon; it was as stiff as swords. He teased me for putting sugar and creamers in my coffee and I called him crazy for drinking it black.
We finished our meal and left the waitress a huge tips. People who have worked in service leave the biggest tips because they know how hard the work is. I can always tell when someone is stingy with the tip that they are spoiled and don’t know what it is to have aching feet.
He opened the car door for me. As we drove, I looked through the patches of cloud and saw a shooting star.
“Quick! Make a wish!”
We talked about shooting stars.
“You know they’re not real stars, sweetie.”
I didn’t. I was disappointed to learn I had been wishing on space debris all that time. But if there was anyone who was going to tell me the truth about shooting stars, I wanted it to be him with his soft eyes and gentle voice. He didn’t tease me for being stupid or not knowing much about how things worked in the world.
“Keep wishing, Gen. Keep wishing on them and hoping for things in your heart. That’s one of the things I love about you, how you get so excited and wish for things.”
* * *
I still wish on stars, 25 years later. Even if it is on space debris, I’m still making wishes. I still hope for things in my heart.